Radical closed-wing aircraft design could see greener skies take flight

An artist's view of the PrandtlPlane shows what future commercial aircrafts could look like.

Aviation is one of the most environmentally harmful forms of transportation, accounting for 3% of all EU greenhouse gas emissions. But new aircraft designs inspired by the work of an early 20th-century aviation engineer and natural substances such as honeycomb and grass could help to cut the environmental footprint of flying. With nearly 1 billion passengers … Read more

Scientists explore underwater frontiers with submersible tablet computers

Technology for underwater use could change the way professional divers and researchers work.

A team of experienced science divers has created the world’s first submersible touchscreen for a tablet computer, whose applications are already helping marine scientists, law enforcement, explorers and other professionals toil beneath the waves and could usher in a new era of underwater ICT. It’s part of a new wave of subsea technology, which also … Read more

Garbage-collecting aqua drones and jellyfish filters for cleaner oceans

It is estimated that more than 150 million tonnes of plastics have already accumulated in the world's oceans.

A Roomba-like ocean trash collector modelled on a whale shark and a microplastic filter made from jellyfish slime could prevent litter from entering our oceans and help tackle a growing problem that poses threats to wildlife, deters tourists and impacts on coastal economies. The cost of sea litter in the EU has been estimated at up to … Read more

Turning landfill into energy

Landfill is both ugly and polluting. But a new breed of technology promises to make it a thing of the past, transforming a huge portion of landfill material into clean gas. It’s thanks to a process called gasification, which involves turning carbon-based materials into gas by heating them to a high temperature but without burning … Read more

EU puts its ‘foot on the accelerator’ of battery research

The transport sector accounts for 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The European Union is scaling up its investment in battery technology with the announcement of a €10 million open competition to design a better battery for electric vehicles and a €50 million cash injection to develop Europe’s largest green battery factory. Batteries will play a vital role in helping to achieve the EU’s goal of … Read more

Life scientists unite to close EU’s innovation gap

Research excellence relies not only on funding but also on the right governance and culture, according to experts.

Nepotism, a lack of transparency and poor governance are among some of the challenging conditions faced by researchers in Central and Eastern Europe, according to a consortium of life scientists who have set up a project to raise the level of research excellence in those countries. ‘The importance of institutions in providing a favourable environment … Read more